Sony rewriting DVD format

TOKYO — Sony Corp. said Wednesday that it has applied for approval of a new optical disc format to an international standards body along with Philips Electronics NV and Hewlett-Packard Co. The rewritable disc is similar to the DVD-RAM format and is designed to maximize compatibility with DVD-ROM players, Sony said.

Sony said the three companies applied to ECMA to approve their format for a 12-cm optical disc that uses phase-change technology for rewritability. The optical disc is for information storage for personal computers, and the three companies first applied for approval to the European-based commission in April.

Japan’s main economic daily, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, said in a front page article Wednesday the move signifies a break with DVD Forum, a 10-member multinational group that includes Sony and Philips working to develop DVD technology standards.

Sony said it remains committed to the DVD Forum, adding that the optical disc under consideration falls outside the DVD-RAM format set by the industrial grouping. “Sony still supports the DVD-RAM format, but we will not be making products based on it,” a spokesman for the electronics company said.

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